With the situation in Catalonia continuing to escalate, the players for Barcelona shouldn’t have been blamed if their minds were elsewhere as they traveled to the Basque Country to face Eibar. Couple that with the general malaise that always seems to inflict Blaugrana legs when they return from the annual October international break and it appeared like a recipe for disaster. Yet, Ernesto Valverde’s men were the better side led by a front three that were only starting their third game of the season together (Villarreal and Inter Milan).
After each of Antoine Griezmann, Lionel Messi, and Luis Suarez found the back of the net against Eibar, it may be surprising to some that the trio has now scored a combined 11 goals this season. That total is lower than it should be due to Messi’s injury absence to start the season, but it feels like Barcelona have survived their worst start in La Liga in 25 seasons.
There were plenty more positives against Eibar than negatives, but the lack of chemistry between “MSG” was noticeable.
Messi and Suarez have been operating more like Lennon and McCartney since Neymar left. With some time Cules will see that Barcelona are at their best when George (Griezmann in this scenario) and Ringo (Ousmane Dembele) are making harmonious music on the field, though probably not all at the same time – weakening The Beatles comparison a bit.
With three points captured, Barcelona could go top of the La Liga table if Real Madrid failed to get a result against newly promoted Mallorca – languishing in 18th place and in the relegation zone. . Mallorca were a team that the odds makers didn’t have a lot of faith in to start the season, but the island club could prove everybody wrong. To make your own choices about La Liga finishes, give yourself a good chance to earn with the Dafabet Coupon Code. Not only did Mallorca come out strong against their visitors, but they went up within the first ten minutes through a player that has been with the club through all of their ups and downs of the last few seasons.
28-year-old Lago Junior scored his first goal of the season yesterday against Real Madrid. The Ivorian winger received a ball from former Real Madrid Castilla midfielder Aleix Febas on the left wing and immediately showed Alvaro Odriozola a thing or two about pace. He cut in on his right and struck the ball well, beating Thibaut Courtois on his far post.
Was this the most important goal of the player’s career. Further examination of Junior’s footballing journey makes a pretty clear argument for it. He came to La Liga in 2008 with Numancia from the Ivory Coast, playing in only five games for a side that was relegated that season. He stayed with them for three more seasons, scoring six goals in the Segunda Division.
The next few years came down in the Segunda Division B with Eibar and Gimnastic. Junior managed just 17 goals in three seasons. The winger showed well enough at Gimnastic, helping them to promotion. However, he made the step up to the Segunda Division by a different path, signing for Mirandes in 2015. While Mirandes finished in 15th place that season, Junior had already been moved to Mallorca in January. Mallorca would finish 17th in the Segunda Division.
The following season was a mess for the island club. They were relegated despite averaging the 7th highest attendance in the league and drawing the same number of games as Tenerife, who made the promotion play-offs. Junior’s output of six goals in forty games wasn’t enough to save them. The good news is that the club earned immediate promotion back to the second division in the 2017-18 season, with the winger supplying 8 goals. A second consecutive promotion last season, with Junior getting 10 goals in 31 matches, pushed Mallorca back into La Liga
While he did start all four games on the way to promotion, Junior didn’t find the back of the net. His task in Mallorca’s system is more to unbalance the defense with his speed than it is to mix it up in the box, so his goal was unexpected. Odriozola was targeted throughout the match and the contest looked practically over after the young defender received his second yellow.
The events of the two games that put Barcelona on top of La Liga for the first time this season were not decided by just the goal scorers. Frenkie de Jong, Sergio Busquets, Iddrisu Baba, Fran Gamez, and Martin Valjent all had parts to play in the results, but the glory should go to the men who finished the chances. For Lago Junior, it was his biggest chance yet.